Posted by: Marina | November 29, 2009

Interaction in isolation. Find your new virtual identity.

Forming groups and communities is inevitable for our society. Getting together to network developed instantly in a virtual world. In Chapter 10 Benkler talks about Internet community verses personal interaction and what are the effect of Internet on social relations.

Internet is known for being a platform for social grouping and networking. It gives access to your group of interests. Just signing up with at leads you to a diverse networking with people who share your passion. It’s fast and productive. Besides, it brings us a power to speak out and be heard. Online communication is interactive just like face-to-face relationship yet it has it’s own nature where there are advantages and flaws. Previously we’ve been talking a lot about all the great benefits we get of the online interaction. However we have to admit that virtual communication brings us isolation and alienation. It seems that with the absence of the physical interaction we experience a lack of commitment. Online courses have been always a challenge for me since the organizational skills have to be continually enforced. Being responsible and staying on top of the project is quite difficult. It is very tempting to skip and to not produce.

We are interested in being involved in a collective project yet we have a flexibility and freedom to escape responsibility and commitment around it. Just simply stop logging in to a specific site. We, internet users, have a power to appear and vanish. This aspect gives us a confidence and a capability to create a new identity.

After reading this week’s chapter I am analyzing the fact that I am different in online environment. Yes, I do have a power to create a new image for myself and become somebody else. I am able to isolate myself while continuing communicating.

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In Chapter 8 Benkler reminds us of the fact that none of us exists outside of the culture (274). We as groups continually interact and share ideas with each other that leads us to forming a culture which affects politics and economics of our society.
People has a need to be in groups to exchange information, together come to decisions and make choices. We as society always want to set certain standards to follow and choose and how we should function appropriately.
It’s obvious that Internet produces a new culture with new tools to use that generates innovative ideas and movements. The new political, ideological platforms and social groups are created. The distinguishing element of  new culture compare from mass media culture is the active participation of social groups and individuals.
In internet environment we create, share, redo, edit and forward sources of information which are images, videos and text. The reason we have a desire to participate in developing this cultural platform is because it gives us capacity to speak and be heard.
Culture is not a destiny(282) we as groups of participants make it happen. In the networked information environment each of us plays a valuable role in culture production thanks to the power to speak out.
And we do speak out.  To get a better feedback we want to invite public to interact with our ideas and creative process. That brings us to this week’s topic Copyright and work of Creative Commons organization. The CC gives a person who created a work an opportunity to legally share and invite others to participate in distribution and development. That opens doors to a certain freedom and a lot of creativity.
When I talk about culture of sharing to my mind comes graffiti art. Being recently in Brazil a place famous for its street art I discovered mural work of twin brothers Os Gemeos who became incredibly famous not just for the content of their art but by the public accessibility of it. Starting the creative activity at early age these brothers make art on building walls, doors, mail boxes and anything that can be drawn on. The subject matter are people living through economical and political difficulties. The theme is very relevant to the world’s issues of poverty and therefore connects people. So easily seen by the public  their work made Os Gemeos so popular that today they receive commissions from cities to create their public art.
Creative Commons License
Os Gemeos graffiti by Marina Nazarova is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.


Posted by: Marina | November 18, 2009

Public Sphere=Internet

In Chapter 7 Benkler talks about how internet has become a democratic public sphere. A public sphere  is defined as community where an individual transforms from a passive listener to a potential speaker. The desire to speak out and critique has always been present in our society.  And now internet provides us with such opportunity.
In order a public sphere to function successfully the participants have to be active and rational. That’s why public sphere contradicts mass media where information is controlled and forced to the general public.
The last week’s podcast lecture helped to clear many points in this matter. Internet is popular because an individual is given power to speak, freedom and equality to share information and above all the participation is free. Another great highlights of the web are diversity of information and quick delivery.
In economical, political, environmental or artistic spheres there is always a need to exchange information, speak out and create an audience. Blogs and vlogs are perfect platforms for it.
Looking at some example of art related websites and blogs such as smashing magazine and motionographer I can see how this public sphere create a successful for participants community. Such place become a place to interact where you learn, teach and have some fun doing it.

Posted by: Marina | November 9, 2009

Feel free to create your own cultural environment

Benkler talks about the way internet offers to individuals ability to create their “own cultural environment” (Benkler 130). Therefore it gives all of us freedom and independence to give our opinions and share our research and knowledge with everybody else. In such case mass media begins to loose its strong influence and power of being in control of information.In my opinion it is truly amazing to notice how individuals tend to work better for themselves and on their own. Once you are in the right network you can share and receive the necessary information which will benefit us on personal, social and business level.

By creating blogs, websites, being on social networks we get a chance to promote our work. Artists who display their work online and being a part of related networks have a chance to find a buyer without help of a gallery. It starts from building the website or a blog followed by sharing your links with your network. That’s how we all get together in the field we are interested in. In my opinion Eastside Culture Crawl is a good example of individuals getting together through the online community. It looks like any network starts with an individual creating an environment with intention to share and get feedback. Said that so far it seems the online sharing system works and benefits its participants.

Posted by: Marina | October 18, 2009

SOSC: Web tools are there for us

In Chapter 6 Shirky makes strong points on how collective work can make changes. Bringing as an example the scandal with the abusive Catholic priests, Shirky says that people getting in the groups for collaboration always worked in the past. The purpose for it would be to spread the word around and to organize a movements or protests. However it works much faster with the new web tools. The Vatican scandal only reached the wide audience and changes only happened in 2002 when internet was available to a larger population.

With the web the speed of sharing information and getting response became instant therefore sufficient. The video on charity to bring a drinking water to Africa is an example of the contemporary way to reach people, organize a movement and start a project either it a business task, advertising or charity event.

Our society always had a need to share information and communicate and today it became larger, faster and easier than ever. Therefore, with the growing networking artists should take an advantage to promote their work and get their ideas through. There are already a huge variety of social networking sites like coolhunting, etsy, artnets and etc. Either we use those places to share our portfolios or to start a production group it is important to get involved.

Broadcasting is not the only way to pass information from one source to another. Now you can be a broadcaster sitting at home. Podcast made it happen. These two medias are quite different between each other though.  In many cases the person who posts on podcast is not a professional announcer. In addition the content might be quite unfiltered and unimportant to the public. Therefore, the podcasting is lacking the big audience.  However, that podcast became a powerful social tool that lets a regular person  put a message on the air.

Does such media tool change the social behaviour?  Of course. The idea that your opinion can be heard by others puts many things in a perspective. Here we are looking at freedom of speech, the power of big news broadcasters that’s been questioned,  information filtering issues , politics of official broadcasters as well as interpretation of the same events and facts by an individual with a post on podcast.

After all said I am realizing how much information is generated and passed across on daily basis. The question is how it will be filtered in years to come once the majority will learn all the web tools and start using it at its full capacity. Where will it lead us once we open the box?


Posted by: Marina | October 6, 2009


In chapter 5 Shirky talks about sharing, collaboration and contribution. I want to compare networks like Facebook and Wikipedia where both are  well organized places where you are involved in exchanging information and collaboration.

Wikipedia, which was the subject of the reding is a great example of collaboration where people contribute information to online encyclopedia. Reading about  history of its creation and concept behind it I can  see the intentions of the website. It’s created by everybody and for everybody. To keep it well organized of course we need an order which is regulated by everyone. The idea is to contribute, to provide with trustworthy information and references and to receive that information when you are searching for it.

On another hand Facebook is an engine with contributing and giving away information as well. So what would be the major differences between the two? How are those donations are different.  Facebook is very subjective. It becomes your personal space where you write anything you feel like.  Even though there is a big interacting process yet the owner of the profile on Facebook has the right to choose what to wright about. Since you have this power of course you start writing about yourself as who you are, what you like and what you do. To compare with Wikipedia one of the main rules you can’t write about yourself.  Instead, it becomes communal contribution of the knowledge where the subject is chosen or refused collaboratively.

Personally, I think we need  both types of contributions. It is important to keep the division between them as well and not mixed it up together. For example, lets keep personal profiles and subjective opinions on things on facebook and lets keep wikipedia with well updated facts with reference materials.


Posted by: Marina | September 27, 2009

Who is winning and who is loosing?

In Chapter 3 Shirky looks at professionalism and mass amateurization while describing their definition and placement in society. Shirky positions professionalism in category of occupation that is more than just a job. Professionals must follow specific standards and aim to fulfill expectations of general public as well as members of the same professional group. Shirky emphasizes that such interaction between the members of certain vocation that includes competition and recognition is significant element in defining professionalism. As example he is looking at journalists and photographers who work within certain rules and conditions. These professions organized in hierarchal system with enforced rules.

But the question is in what category people who post unlimited amount of news and images on internet should be placed. Are they professionals? Should the information that they publish be taken seriously. Among that Shirky brings up issue like copyability, quality and costs of production. Information that is generated and distributed by mass amateurization is fast, easily available and at low or no cost to produce and consume.

Having said that does it mean we will loose professional journalists and their place will be taken by bloggers who do not depend on publishers in writing and delivering information. It seems that society is dictating the rules in this matter. Things are expected to be delivered instant, widely distributed and at low cost. As example the existence of scribes that became a history was replaced with moveable type that was meeting needs of people for easy accessibility to literacy.

Being an art student and planning to make a living by selling original artwork I am facing some problems here. Would this fast growing online art market be playing in my favor? It seems that buying a digital copy of an image online is cheap and quick. Will this trend demolish my career as a painter and photographer since the originals might seem overpriced for the general public?

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Posted by: Marina | September 18, 2009

Talking about online tutorials

This weeks reading gave me a good outlook on the network and interaction online. Shirky is delivering clear points on the sharing information, cooperation and creating a group identity that develops an organized network. Such social grouping does not follow the standard rules of the tyical organization and the management concepts. The online interaction activity seems to be sorted and systemized by broad public interest of sharing, receiving and contributing.

When thinking of the example on collaboration , sharing  and creating a synchronized interaction the online tutorials come to my mind. In my opinion the free youtube or vimeo learning videos are been great sources of knowlegde on how to do and operate things. I find that unlimited range of the tips from how to work a certain software to how to get ride of the wine stain are a suffieciant way to get the answers on your questions without going far away from your computer. These days you can forget the idea of taking a photoshop class at school that requires paying a tutuition and a trip. In addition you might be unsatisfied with the results of the course, for instance I always was expecting from instructor to share more information with students. In the case of the online tutorials it seems that people who make them are working fully on delievering the subject. Although, I never done and shared any tutorials I think it’ll be a good experience. You get the power to organize, create and publish a project knowing that it will be a use and a help for somebody.  In my opinion this system appears to work for both the receivers and the ones who share.

Using internet is a source for personal and professional research the online tutorials seem as a useful sharing among the groups. But I guess, along the benefits there are a number of issues such a quality and accuracy of the learning material and etc.

Posted by: Marina | September 11, 2009

SOCS_300: Hi all!

It’s good to get back to my forgotton blog page.

I found the short video on Machine is Us/ing Us a quite original and sufficient.

Excited about the class.

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